Plagiarism is defined in the Wagner College Student Handbook as: “the presentation or submission of the work, words, or ideas of another without citation or credits, as your own work.” By failing to cite a source, or by citing it improperly, you may find yourself in danger of facing charges of academic dishonesty. It is essential that you cite all of your sources accurately with each paper. The iron rule of citation is this: “If you got the idea from someone else, give them credit.” This includes not only quotes, but paraphrasing—just the idea itself, put in your own words. Be especially careful when paraphrasing. To borrow even three words not your own—or the author’s original sentence structure without acknowledgment—is plagiarism. The format for citing sources in a paper will vary depending on the type of documentation your professor requires, but your responsibility as a writer remains the same. If you’re having trouble with a particular form of citation, look it up in your writing manual, go to the appropriate web page, consult with your professor, or come to a WIT for help.
The more you know about plagiarism, the better you will understand how to avoid plagiarism. Please visit Plagiarism.org to learn more.